Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 12 - Yoloha

Iakwe aolep armej!
I hope you all had a good Halloween. I thought Halloween was boring when you couldn't go trick-or-treating anymore, try it as a missionary. We stopped proselyting at 5 and went to the church with our whole zone to play basketball and volleyball, and still had to be back home at 9. So basically I'm a party animal. And call me a rebel, but I was so bored I went back to our apartment at 8:45. Count your blessings;)
We had four kids from a basketball team that we taught get baptized this week! (see picture) The tall kid is their coach and just left on his mission today to Japan. Our ward had a ward family home evening for him leaving last night and everyone came up shared their testimonies to him and talked about how good of an example he had been to them. I think him leading by example was one of the main forces allowing these boys to be baptized. They all looked up to, and admired him a lot and so they did what he asked. When he invited them to church, 11 boys showed up the next day. We were trying to baptize all of them, but some of the parents weren't ok with it yet. In Micronesian culture, parents believe that you're "wasting your baptism" if you're not a good person when you're baptized. Many of these kids are, of course, sometimes disobedient to their parents, so we're still working with them, hoping to baptize them a little further down the road. At the family home evening, Justin (the coach) got up and shared his testimony, then invited all four of the boys to share theirs. They all talked about how their baptism was one of the best days of their lives and that they wanted to go on a mission, just like Justin and just like the elders who taught them.
Justin and his work here, inspired me to try and lead by a better example, and I'd invite all of you to do the same. He didn't start out thrusting the gospel on them, but instead became their friend first, showed them he cared, and then let them know he had this piece of his life that brought him happiness that he wanted to share. Because they knew he cared and saw the way he lived his life, it opened the window for us to come in and teach. So you never know who is watching what you do or when people might make important choices based on the example that you've shown, that's why it's important to always stand as a witness of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places, and also to follow the promptings of the spirit.
I was reading in 1 Nephi I think chapter 3, and Nephi talks about how he was led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which he should do. Life's like this, especially as a missionary. There's times when I don't know where to go, who to see, or what to say, but I follow promptings from the spirit and in return am blessed. And honestly, it's kind of stupid to not heed, or just shake promptings off, because in the end, God always knows best. Our Heavenly Father is the only one who knows perfectly. He knows what's best for us, and for those around us. He knows perfectly how to best help his children. So we should always listen to His spirit, the Holy Ghost. Because he will never lead us astray.
Choke Mahalo for all of your love, support, and prayers!

Love, Elder Merrill

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