I am doing well this week. Elder Seelos is good as well. We are getting along really well which is pretty easy when we are both from Utah, pretty similar backgrounds, same high school experience and everything. He is a really good companion and I am blessed to be with him. I think our teaching has been really good this week. We were able to find lesson opportunities from unexpected situations. George is doing really well. He came to church and he brought another man we have been teaching who is LA named Robert. They both just showed up and we didn't even know that they knew each other. It turns out that they didn't really. George just met him at church once and decided to call him to see if he would like to come again. It was an awesome surprise at sacrament meeting. We did get to see Bro Fatialofa again. He got a calling this week in the Sunday School Board so he will actually be teaching our Samoan Gospel Doctrine Class at church. It should be really good. One of the members here, we call her Mama Lynn, told us that there was some bad weather in Utah, like floods or something, she was worried for us. It sounds like it has been pretty good weather so that is good. It sounds like it was and is a wonderful cabin trip so far. I miss the cabin kind of a lot. :) I am excited to go there again sometime. The next trip for me would probably be the snowshoe trip next winter - I hope it snows a lot. Food is just better when you are at the Cabin. I am continually trying to improve on my humility. But I did the Christlike Attribute test on Humility in PMG and apparently I am the man at it. So, I guess I am the Man! haha.
This week was a pretty good week but unfortunately it was a little slow. We had MLC all of Wednesday which always slows us down and then we did our zone training on Thursday so we lost over 10 hours of good proselyting time. The meeting was good and we are really trying to figure out how to help the members with their missionary work. We talked a lot about the meeting we had and how we can apply it. In our zone training things went really well, President Balli rocked up [showed up unexpectedly] which has never happened to me before. I'm glad the meeting went well and he added some really good thoughts about our Zone Goals and really motivated the Zone. The Zone is doing well, there are a lot of dramas going on between some of the missionaries. Most of the time I just let them play out, I don't really like to get involved. I just try and be everyone's friend and just do the work. It is funny how missionaries just get mad at each other sometimes. It just hurts the work and it isn't good for anyone. I think contention is the biggest thing that the devil can use to slow down the missionaries. Elder Seelos and I are all good which really helps when we are trying to help the zone. Despite a few minor concerns, the work is moving forward and we seem to be building momentum with each passing month.
Even with all the administrative stuff, we were still able to get some really good lessons in this week. We have been trying to work with the Isa'ako family, (Rueben's Family). They didn't come to church this week but we love going over there. We are going through the lessons again with Rueben but in the meantime we're getting to help the mother and Jordan (the 11 year old brother) understand the doctrine even better. Sister Isa'ako would be baptized if she could but she is living in a partnership with a man that doesn't want to get married and Jordan was recently baptized into the Catholic church and goes there on Sundays but he understands the Gospel really well, he just wants to be different. We are trying to help him change but his Mom doesn't want to force him and, since he is only 11, he doesn't really have a strong desire to change without his mom saying something. That's at least what it seems to be. They are a great family though and have been involved in a service project that the stake has had on going for a local marae [Maori meeting house] feeding the homeless for the past week and on through next week. It is a big effort and it should be really good.
We had another really good lesson with a PM [part-member] family this week. It is the Umaki family. They are a Cook Island family from the island of Aitatuki. John Umaki is the father and he is a Catholic man. He believes the church is true but he just doesn't want to change how he is living. We are trying to figure out his concern. The rest of his family doesn't come to church. Except one of his daughters who is in Australia that just recently returned to church. It was our second time visiting this family since I have been here. We went into the home with the idea that we would just try and build the relationship with the family. Elders have been trying to get John to come with his family to church for years but we wanted to be different. We figured that he has been taught all the lessons multiple times, so it's not that he doesn't understand the doctrine. there is something else that he has a concern with. We went in with a prayer and faith that we would be able to share something that was of value with the family. Usually I like to be more prepared, but this time it felt right. We ended up talking about missions, our lives back at home, which led to us bearing strong testimony and then talking about how we came out and the reasons why. The Spirit was very strong. Sis Umaki had shared with us in the past that there were two elders the were really close to helping him come to church years ago, like in the early 90's. We could tell from the conversation that he truly loves missionaries and missions and how the church is so dedicated to sharing the gospel. He asked us so many questions and we had at least sparked his interest. The discussion then led toward service. We were prompted to share the LIFT Mormon message (which is an awesome one). We then talked about Mosiah 2:17. Soon Sis Umaki shared that she believes that when we give service we are the answer to someone else's prayer. We were able to testify that we were not there to just baptize people, we were not there just to get out of the cold, we were not there because we were just looking to get them to come back to church. We were there to serve. We asked them "How can we be the answer to your prayers. What is it that you are praying for and How can we help? We want to serve." This was definitely an inspired question that came directly form the spirit. Sister Umaki and her daughter who is a ysa both willingly answered and explained some of their concerns.Sister Umaki bore her testimony and said she wanted to come back to church and she needed her husband to bring her there. Which was good and we almost wanted to teach them right there. But we noticed that John stayed silent you could tell he was feeling the spirit and there were a few tears in his eyes. I looked him directly at him and asked him :John, as the head of your household how can we serve you and your family." There was a very long pause, the spirit was working. Just as John was about to answer He started by saying, "Are you two willing to.." Then at the same time Sis Umaki started answering. She is going a little def and is losing her eyesight. She may not have noticed him speak but I think she was just trying to break the silence. She asked us to serve them by just visiting regularly. The moment was gone. John just agreed with his wife by nodding along, we set a return appointment and left with a prayer. We were so close. I know John does want to change. He has felt the spirit so many times but we weren't able to figure out his concern, we were so close. so close. We will visit them again another time and when John is ready we will be able to help him and his family progress.