Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sale'imoa December 13th - posted on the 20th

Talofa Lava!

This cold weather is really getting to me (ha, ha).  I love the Christmas music here. It's really fun. They just get songs from America and put rasta type beats behind it and it's pretty funny.  I love the holiday spirit!

On Tuesday all the zone leaders and district leaders had a meeting at the mission home so I went on an exchange (where we go out with other missionaries). I ended up going with my companion from the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and another elder who has only been out 6 weeks longer than me. We worked in their area. We visited with members and asked them to help fellowship those who are learning about the church. It was a really good day. I gained a lot of confidence and realized that if I had to teach, I could get the message across as long as I have the Spirit with me. I also realized how little of an impact we have with the conversion of others as they're learning about the gospel. Their conversion comes through their own actions and all we have to do is teach simply and invite - which I can kinda do.

On Thursday, we went over to Sale'imoa 1st ward. We visited with So'o. She is an elderly woman. She stopped us on the street. She said she has wanted to get baptized her whole life, but couldn't because of her husband. Her husband passed away a couple months before we met her and she said now she can finally get baptized. Our first lesson with her we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. The 1st ward church services start at 7:30 in the morning and she lives kind of far away and she still made it to church.

Sale'imoa is about a 30 minute bike ride from our house. We had just finished a visit around 8:30pm and it was pitch black outside. Luckily, I had a tiny flashlight in my bag that seemed to get the job done. I'm sorry for all those dog lovers out there but after being here for two months, I have come to hate dogs. On the way home that night I almost got bit like five times. They just sit by the main road and wait for us to ride by and run along side our bikes trying to bite our legs. I kicked one away - kind of on accident - but not really. It was my survival instinct.  We got home in 10 minutes mainly because we were going fast trying to get away from dogs and that just made my adrenaline pump like crazy.

Our bikes started to fall apart so the zone leaders took them in and we upgraded to really nice bikes. Apparently, when the zone leaders took the old bikes in to get fixed, the bike repair shop said to just to get rid of them because they were so bad.

Whenever lessons fall through at night, I've been doing practice lessons with members. I teach the whole lesson. It's hard and really frustrating but after I make it through, I'm really grateful I did it. The members give feed back on how I can improve and it really helps.

1 Nephi 8:12  

"And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous‍ that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable‍ above all other fruit."

We all should have that desire to share the gospel after we have received and accepted it. I know of the blessings that come from this gospel and I want everyone else to be able to receive those same blessings. I promise there is no greater joy available than helping someone come unto Christ and receive all of Heavenly Father's promised blessings.

Alofa atu,

Elder Sterner

 This is a large Presbyterian church in our neighborhood. 
The architecture is cool.

Our church buildings have these large outdoor "fales" where classes take place. 
Of course, I'm sitting criss-cross-applesauce!

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