Malo, This is Elder Fa'amaumauga or Elder Record (haha) and today is the 27th and apparently it's my “click day.” I entered the MTC on the 27th and so apparently that's how missionaries measure the months that they have been out. I didn't even think about that – Elder Curtin reminded me (haha). It's been what … four months. So, yeah, I've been out for four months on my mission. It's been real! (haha)
Last P-day was really fun. We got to go to the mission home and kind of hang out with President and Sister Beesley. We played a little ping pong, we played some games, and I got to talking with Sister Beesley about languages and learning stuff in Samoan. She put us in charge of translating some things in all the mission languages. She gave us a script we are going to go through and get all the written forms of these different languages. We are not going to do Russian because we don't have a Russian area yet. President and Sister Beelsey are really the only ones that do anything with Russian. We are also going to be in charge of making a movie of it next year, just after December I think – in January. We are going to be making a DVD of all the people saying the different phrases from the script in their native languages. So we've got Mong, Samoan, Tongan, Spanish, English (I don't know if they are going to do that one). So anyway, you get the picture. It's going to be pretty cool. I'm excited to do it. It will be fun.
Some of the things that happened this week. We are having more lessons with people than we have before. We started meeting with the Ma'asuolis and they want us over for dinner on Tuesdays. They even showed up for Church today, which was awesome. We had dinner with the Atifali family. He is the Young Men's president and they love to sing. They are really good, and he's learning how to play the base (haha). He said, “oh I just picked it up and started playing some chords.”
We had an awesome chance to go to a ward council and offer our service to the bishop. We let him know what is happening in their ward. We are really starting to gain the trust of the members, and earning their referrals. Hopefully we will be able to teach even more people soon.
Apparently there is some kind of Polynesian family history thing that I will be looking into for the future. I may be doing a little bit more with that in the future. This week has been fun. It has been an average week. Although, this week during my study, I feel like I have really been able to more deeply ponder a lot of different things.
I was thinking about how you can cultivate a desire, and how you can get a desire when you don't have one. If you don't have a desire to do something, but I guess you would have to have a desire to have that desire (haha). If you want to change, you need to have a mighty change of heart. I was reading specifically about Enos in the Book of Mormon. His is a great example. He starts praying for a forgiveness of his sins. He was wrestling or struggling with the Lord and really wanting to be forgiven for all the things he had done wrong. Because of that, he receives a remission of his sins. The Lord tells him that he is forgiven, and he is sooo happy (see Enos 1:4-6). He says that he began to be desirous to have his brethren, the Nephites, to feel that remission of sins, and to experience the same joy that he did. That desire and love then extends to his enemies. I was thinking about that. He tasted of the love of our Heavenly Father and of Christ. Because of that, he was filled with so much happiness and joy, that he wanted to share that with others. I think that is how it happens with a lot of us in the Church. We go on missions. We want to help other people because it feels good, and we want them to feel that same thing. So I was thinking about Lehi's dream (see 1 Nephi 8:4-33). He says that when he partakes of the fruit of the tree, his soul was filled with joy, and then he becomes desirous to share that with his family. We learn in 1 Nephi 11 when Nephi gets the interpretation of it that the tree is the love of God. It represents the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:21-23). So Lehi was partaking of the love of God, and that is the same thing that happened to Enos. He felt that remission of sins, and he felt the love of God for him. But also, if you go to Mormon chapter 1 I think, in the first few verses it says that Mormon, talking about himself when he was younger, he said he tasted and knew of the goodness of Christ (see Mormon 1:15). I don't know if that's an exact quote. He felt the love of God, so he is filled with that love and he wanted to help other people. He felt that desire to do better and to share that with others. I guess confidence then extends from that.
Anyway, that is what I was thinking about in my study – I was also thinking about Nephi and genealogy (haha). Lehi gets the brass plates and he starts to talk about his genealogy and how he finds out that he is a descendant of Joseph and of Jacob. I like how Nephi says after his brothers tried to kill him when they start to ask him for forgiveness, he says he frankly forgave them for all that they had done, and they just tried to kill him (see 1 Nephi 7:19-21). I think that shows a lot about Nephi, and it reminds me of the same meekness Joseph Smith had. In learning about him and how he was so quick to forgive – and then about how Christ was. I was very impressed with Nephi. I mean he's a young guy and early on he says his brothers were murmuring because they had to leave into the wilderness and give up everything and go. Nephi's brothers get angry at that, and they murmur and mumble the whole way. They go, but they murmur the whole way and get worse and worse. It's not easy for Nephi, but he turns to the Lord. He prays to know that if this is what he is supposed to be doing, he's comforted and it's basically a turning point for him (see 1 Nephi 2:16). It says basically he was frustrated about it before, but now he is okay, because he had prayed about it. The Lord had told him it was good and that was what He wants them to do. He then goes and tells his brothers, and Sam is really the only one that listens to him. His older brothers kind of ignore him, and I think they even get angry at him (see 1 Nephi 2:16-18). Anyway, I just really like Nephi and his example. I know the Church is true. I'm thankful for the Gospel. I am thankful to be serving with wonderful people.
Happy birthday, Eric! I sent my SD card back in the mail, and a little happy birthday note for Eric. You're getting ooold. You're an old man (haha). Holy cow! And Chris, Chris is getting pretty old too. I wonder if he is getting tall. He will probably get taller than me pretty soon. I will have to teach you a little Samoan sometime. I'll have to get my notes and read something for you. I guess … I'll give you this one. If you say Manuia le po, that means have a good night. Yeah, Good night. I'll talk to you all next week.