Ronal is doing great. He was interviewed by Bishop Lang and is set to be ordained into the Melchizedek Priesthood in the next stake conference. He is doing so well and Elder Johnson said he is one of the best converts he has seen on the mission. The new area is good - we have heaps of people to go see. We are going to keep working a lot there to catch it up. We were kind of getting bored so it is good to have the other half. Everytime we hike into the cabin with new people it seems like one way is good and the other is really bad so it is good that the Hansens had fun. I guess Preston and I were step brothers for a least a little while so that is cool. I was wondering if Sam would be Prince Charming. Was he top three? If he wasn't he probably took 5th place because, if you remember, I took 4th.
What a great week! I was able to have my first real interview with President Bali. I don't really count the entrance interview because I wasn't really myself. I went in thinking that he would ask me if I was settling in, getting up on time, being obedient, getting along with my companion and so on. He didn't ask me any of those questions. The only thing he asked me was "How are you?" and "Have you felt the entire depth of love for missionary work yet?" One of these questions was really easy to answer and the other took a lot more thought. My first answer was easy. "Good" - whew that was tough. With the next question I was thinking for a while and I ended up telling President the whole story of Rose.
Rose is amazing. I am just going to take what I wrote in my journal because it will be a lot easier.:
"We have been working with Rose T. for at least six weeks now. We met her while talking with everyone. We were headed to see a member and ran into her at the house next door. We asked her if we could come by and visit her she said yes. She started with a view that is very common with most of the Christian people we run in to - "We believe in the same God, why does it matter which church?" We taught her about the Restoration and it didn't seem to have a huge effect on her. We followed up and went again to teach her the Plan of Salvation. After that lesson she seemed like it was a little too much for her - 3 heavens what the?! From these first visits we were able to find out a lot about her. She is Filipino, and grew up in the Philippines as a Catholic. She, later in life, decided to switch to a born again Christian church and was baptized because infant baptisms and repeated prayers didn't make sense to her. She got married had 7 kids and then her husband abandoned the family. She raised the 7 kids by herself. She told us that it was because of her church she was able to do it, from the grace of God. She had always remained active and when she moved to NZ she founded a Filipino branch with a congregation of over 50 people. She was obviously still very strong in her church and her beliefs and we contemplated dropping her as an investigator. We went to what we thought would be one of the last lessons with her but this time was different, this time we brought Bro Fatai, our ward mission leader. Bro Fatai was the key. In the middle of the lesson we were talking to Rose and she started going off about her church and how involved she is and what she has done. This is when Brother Fatai stopped her and said, "Rose I will come pick you up, we going to our church, then I drop you off at your church, what time? Rose was very surprised and didn't really have time to think it over but just told him a time. He said, "Great! We will pick you up at 12:30 and we will get you on time to church for your people." Rose ended up coming the following Sunday and also going to hers just like Bro Fatai said. The Spirit worked on her during Sacrament meeting. To sum it up simply she just liked ours better. That Monday night we had a FHE at Bro Fatai house with us and his family, including his mother. Soon enough they became best friends. Rose felt the love that the Fatai family had for her. We taught her the Restoration again and this time with Bro Fatai. This time she accepted it, prayed with us there, and accepted our invitation to be baptized. We continued to work with her and taught her the lessons. She even read like half the Book of Mormon and loved it. Her testimony continued to grow.
That brings me to today. Today I was able to perform her baptism. My very first one. It is amazing to me to see the change that Rose has made in her life. She quit smoking, quit drinking coffee and left her religion that she was a strong leader in and accepted the invitation to be baptized all because of the power of church attendence and the love that she felt from both us and especially Bro Fatai and his family."