We had the most wonderful experience today. We sat in on a lesson of an investigator. We helped the sisters teach him two days ago, also. We met this good man at the baptism of his children just last weekend. He is a Tongan minister in the Wesylian church. He has had a lot of contact with the church and has had several lessons previous to our meeting him. He invited us to his lessons because he was quite taken with Elder Larkin’s experience in Tonga and his language. Today, there was such a sweet spirit in the room. Of the two sister missionaries that teach him, one is Tongan (her companion is from Tahiti and she speaks with the sweetest French accent). A member of the bishopric (also Tongan) sits in on the lessons. The lessons are in Tongan, taught mostly by the Sister from Tonga. Elder Larkin’s language is rusty after nearly 50 years, but he can understand a lot of what is said and can read scriptures, etc. The bishopric member asked us each to bear our testimonies, today. The closing prayer was offered by the misister…in Tongan. He is so ready to be baptised, but is struggling with leaving the only life he has ever known and, of course, his job, to be baptised. We pray for his courage and faith to do what the Spirit is telling him to do. We may not have gotten a call to serve in Tonga, but the Lord brought us here to help and assist with this sweet, faithful man. I love the fact that the Lord knows everyone…personally, and that he loves us enough to bring us together to learn of the Savior and his Gospel.
As I mentioned, we attended the baptisms of these three special children last Saturday. They bore the sweetest and more pure testimonies afterward. This really touched the heart of their father. Their mother was also grateful. She is a member of the church. Following the baptism of the children, we attended another baptism of another brother we had previously met. He speaks Portuguese (I think he’s from Protugal…but it might be Brazil). He was also very ready for baptism and was so happy that night! I love seeing the faces of the newly baptised when they come up out of the water. As it says in Alma 5:12, there is a mighty change in their hearts and they become new creatures (Mosiah 27:26). This change shows in their countenance and their happiness is evident in their actions and the way they carry themselves.
Easter weekend was lovely! We sat through two sessions of church and we were filled with the message of the Resurrection! One of the two wards also had a new bishop put in, so it was a day filled with great testimonies and blessings. I am so grateful for my Savior and the gift of the Atonement He has given me.
We attended a ward Family Home Evening on Monday which is always fun and good to do. I must figure out a way to stay away from all the yummy treats that are always at our fingertips! My waistline is suffering from my lack of control! However, they measure weight here in kilos and since it’s a smaller number than pounds…it just sounds better!
Our classes went well this week. Because of school holidays, Easter weekend and ANZAC day today, many were out-of-town and that meant our attendance was down. Disappointing to us, but hopefully we will see more there this next week.
I only have a couple of photos to include today. One is the view outside of one of the chapels here. It’s Autumn and I love the color of the changing leaves. There are spots of orange, red and yellow everywhere! It’s a good photo but taken through a very dirty window. The second photo is how we get online these days…at the church building. Our wifi is still out. It took a week of detective work in Sydney to find out that someone in the Sydney North mission made a decision to have several land line phone numbers turned off that were not in use. Ours (mistakenly) was among those numbers. When the phone line went, so did our internet with it. (They are bundled together). When we started our mission, there was only the Sydney mission and it was split last July. We went to the Sydney South mission, but apparently our phone service did not come with us! At any rate, they are working to restore the line and then it will be about two weeks before the internet can be restored after that. Long story short…doing wifi at the church is our life right now. We do have 3G on our cell phones, but there are some things that have to be done on a computer. (Yes, I know I have to clean up my desktop! And those are our grandchildren! Sneaky grandma, huh?)
I will close for now. We continue to go forth and serve. We love the work! It makes us happy!
Until next time…