I hope you all had a great week. Here was just another week in paradise.
We helped Jun Jun, one of the young men in the branch that I'm really close to, start his mission papers. His whole family is members, and he has two older brothers that are less-active now and never served missions. His parents and I know it would be an awesome opportunity so we've been working really hard on getting him excited to go on a mission. We take him out with us almost every day and he really seems like he's enjoying it. Plus working with him he has a lot of family and friends that we've been able to turn into new investigators and start teaching!
We've also been working really close with his brother in law Freddy. Freddy was baptized when he was 8, but great up active in a different church. I think New Hope, or Born Again Christian, or something like that. When he married Jun Jun's older sister he started coming to church again. We've been meeting with him and teaching him the missionary discussions all the way through. I used the excuse of "practicing" the lessons with my son because he's new. He said he's never read the Book of Mormon all the way through, but was really excited about doing it. He said that as long as we text him to remind him to read, he's going to read 5 chapters every day. But he said he'll only do it if we read with him so we can go over what he's been reading and help him understand even more. So looks like we'll be reading the Book of Mormon through in just over a month and a half. We're really excited for him. He loves the lessons and we're trying to prepare him to hopefully be sealed with his wife and daughter in a few months.
There was also a big Marshallese party for one of the islands, Mille, on Saturday. We were invited by some of the members, so we go to watch some baseball, eat, and meet plenty non-members at the park.
Mary and Catherine were also baptized yesterday! We had originally planned for Saturday, but because Mille Day was an all day thing, the branch president thought it would be best to just hold the baptism after church. The baptism went really well. However, there was one of the branch members who basically lectured these two little girls for 35 minutes on the Holy Ghost. He translated basically all the church materials into Marshallese: from the Book of Mormon, to the missionary pamphlets. So he knows a lot. And he basically unloaded on these poor little girls. But he meant well and the baptism went smooth so what more could we ask for.
At the beginning of this transfer I had all the missionaries in my district vote on a district name. The name that ended up winning was the 'Wai Not Now' district. Wai (pronounced why) is because we're in the Waipahu zone, but also means fresh water in Hawaiian. And wai not now was supposed to be like our motivation to not wait to commit people to baptism. If they're progressing, then why not now? And this name/motto has held true for my district this transfer. As a district we've had great success so far this transfer, and have been able to set more people with a date than we've had in any of the previous transfers since I've been here!
So I guess that's my message for you guys is if you're waiting to do something, then wai not now? Sometimes we wait too long for things, and before we know it the opportunity is gone. Once we've had that confirmation from our Heavenly Father that's all we really need. It's ok to walk by faith and take a few steps in the dark, because a loving Father in Heaven has promised us He will never lead us astray. So if you're waiting on or for something, whatever it may be, Wai Not Now?
Love you guys and have a great week!
Iakwe nan indeeo, Elder Merrill