Saturday, December 5, 2015

5th week in Samoa...just posted a couple weeks late!

From Carol & Jeff...we've had major computer issues so we apologize that we are two weeks behind in posting Justin's blogs.  The upside is that there will be three in one weekend!

Hello everyone,

This week was pretty boring....

My companion is sick with bronchitis so we've been stuck at our house the past five days...

The first couple days of the week went well and we committed three people to be baptized in December! One of our investigators is an 18 year old who is really interested.

It was so cool. As we were walking to his house and we sat down, before we started he asked if we wanted a niu (a premature coconut that is filled to the brim of coconut water. Its so good.) and we said of course! So he ran over to this palm tree probably 40 feet high and climbs to the top like it was nothing. He has nothing keeping him from falling either. When he got to the top, you just see two big coconuts falling and make a loud thud. Then he husked them and cut the top off so we could drink them. It was so cool just to see him do that like it was nothing. He's probably been doing it since he could walk.

On Friday we went to the mission office in Apia so my companion could go to the doctor. We were there from 8am-4pm. Luckily there were other missionaries there so I had people to talk to. At the end of the day one of the senior missionaries took us to McDonalds downtown. I felt so gross after eating because I haven't really had unhealthy food for over a month. At the office I was able to weigh myself and I've already lost 15 pounds. The only reason missionaries gain weight in this mission is if they serve in American Samoa. Apparently there, when the members offer to feed the missionaries they usually take them to fast food places and the missionaries just get fat. At least I'm losing weight now just in case I get to serve over there.

Since we had to be inside for 5 days straight, I did a lot of reading but for the first time in my life I actually wanted to read instead of being forced to. Last week I finished the Book of Mormon again. I started when I got here. I read all of Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I read countless talks and I'm currently reading Jesus the Christ and I'm more than half way done with it. I've gained such a better knowledge of the gospel and about Christ's life.  Now I just have to figure out how to say it in Samoan!!

One thing that really stuck out to me as I had hours upon hours to read and study was faith. Faith can do a lot of things for us. It all really depends on how much faith we have. The blessings and miracles that can happen in our lives depend on the amount of faith we have. As I was reading, one story that stuck out to me was of the woman who was sick and was healed just by touching Jesus's robe. The only reason she was healed just by touching his robe was because she had faith that it could happen. That's one thing that I can definitely work on. I need to have absolute faith that miracles can happen. One of those miracles is being able to speak the Samoan language. And faith alone won't work. Faith without works is dead. I can't just expect to understand the language without working at it. I have to study it constantly and do everything I can to improve day by day. I know that as I put those two things together that the language will come. Not in my time, but in the Lord's time.

I'm learning so much everyday mostly about myself. What my strengths are, what my weaknesses are and how I can work on improving. I love this work and have a testimony that it is 100% the Lord's work, not mine. I'm just the instrument. The Holy Ghost is the real teacher. As long as I have the Holy Ghost with me as I attempt to teach, I know my message will get across how it should.

I love you all and pray for you all daily!


Elder Sterner

Me and my little buddy playing in the street.

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