Monday, May 23, 2016

Today we go... HIKING!!!

Hello family!

Yes, we're going hiking soon so I don't have a ton of time. This morning we went and did our shopping for the week, now our email, and in about 20 minutes (around 11am) we're going hiking as a zone up above Faaa somewhere. I can't wait to get up in the mountains! It's been a long time. Apparently the hike takes about 4 hours, my goal is to do it in 2 or 3. One of my zone leaders said he's down to run the trail with me; we'll see if he can keep up.

This past week was good. We had one baptism of K, a little 9 year old boy we've been teaching. Elder Langomazino baptized him, and I gave him the Holy Ghost (in French this time ;) ). That was good. Our other baptism that was on plan didn't go through.

Other cool stories. The 4th of June is the marriage and baptism of a couple who is actually from Ahe. Small world, huh? The husband agreed to be baptized this week on the same day as the marriage with his wife. He asked me to baptize him. They were telling us during a lesson this week that before their life was "normal." But now they realize that their life before was filled with "darkness." They told us that since we showed up the first day, their whole life has been filled with light. It is amazing. I have never seen someone so prepared to accept the gospel. They really were waiting only because they knew not where to find the truth.

Another couple we're teaching is an inactive member and his girlfriend. She told us she had been searching for the truth and prayed to God to send her some help to find the truth. The same day we showed up on her doorstep. I remember that day, we were in the quartier, it was raining pretty hard, and we had no planned lessons. So we went exploring up high where we had never been before. We were kind of down and didn't stop to knock any doors (or shout over the gates, as we don't really "knock doors" here in Tahiti). But for some reason I felt like I should just keep walking up this steep hill in the rain, I kind of had the thought that it would be fun to explore. At the top of the hill, the path happened to be blocked by a big piece of metal, and as it was raining it was getting muddy. So we turned around. We decided to stop by one house that was next to the path, and they let us in. And now 3 or 4 weeks later, the girlfriend wants to get married so she can get baptized. Now we just have to convince the boyfriend to come back to the church. He told us last night after watching our missionary concert that he had a dream of two angels or something like that; and talking to us, he thinks that we are the fulfillment of his dream. So that was cool. Just some cool examples of how the Lord knows all his children and brings about miracles by small and simple means.

Overall, a normal week. We worked really hard to see our investigator with the baptism every day, as recommended in Preach my Gospel. Also, Friday for our zone conference I gave the training and I think it went really well. While preparing for the training during the week, I realized I have taught 18 people this year who are now baptized members of the church this year (between Tavararo and Papeete). That's a lot for this mission, so I felt pretty qualified to give the training on "how to avoid losing planned baptisms." On reflecting on all the amis who went through with their baptisms, I realized the key is really to get the amis to read the book of mormon and come to church. If they do that, they get baptized. I think the formation went really well, I definitely learned a lot by giving it.

Other than that, a normal week. The missionary concert last night was here in Papeete. Next week it's down in Punaauia, the other side of Faaa. I'm excited for the concert in a few weeks in Papeari, the other side of the island. I've never been over there. Apparently it's pretty and a little more wild, weather, terrain, etc. Cool. I want to serve there one day.

Voilà, things are going well for me! Love and miss you all, have a good week!

Elder Barlow

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