Monday, January 20, 2014

Jan. 5th

Today was Fast Sunday and the first day of having our church at a new time. We moved to the 11:00 am block. It was hard to get used to just being home this morning but I’m sure that we will adjust. The Tongans love it. They love to sleep in and we had a lot more people at church today and most of them were on time. It was a good Sacrament Meeting. There is never any down time and you have to get in line to bear your testimony. That is how it should be!

We had another new member in our Sunday School class today. Her name is Paki. It is a lot longer than that but I will never be able to remember or pronounce all of it. She just goes by Paki. She is young, somewhere in her twenties, married and a member of the church. Her husband has been working on Sunday’s and is quitting his job so he can come to church. The people at home could learn a lot from these faithful members. They just feel like it is time to get their priorities straight and make the changes in their lives that will bring them closer to the Lord. They feel like they are being prompted to do it. That should tell us all something! Her husband has a final job interview for a job that he really wants where he won’t have to work on Sunday. During the last interview the employer asked him why it was so important to him that he not work on Sunday. He not only explained it to him, but he invited he and his wife to come to church with him today. THEY CAME!! He and Paki know no fear where the gospel is concerned. We are praying that he gets the new job and that the boss and his wife will want to know more about the church.
Alan finished up his lesson on the prophets today. He has been at it for 3 weeks! It was all good and very interesting, but now it is time to move on. We were able to buy the new Liahona this week. It is the conference edition. (It only cost 35 cents.) Most things are really expensive here but not things relating to the church. We talked a little about the Conference talks and how important it is to study the words of the living prophet. We will buy a copy of the conference edition for each of them and give it to them next week.

As soon as we got to church this morning, the Bishop called me into his office and shut the door. That is never a good sign. Our Relief Society President has gone to America to have a baby and she won’t be back for 3 or 4 months. That is a story in and of itself, I will try to remember to write that down. But anyway, he has decided to reorganize the Relief Society. He called a new president, thank heaven, and she has asked for me to be her 1st councilor. It won’t effect my Sunday School calling, everyone here has 2 or 3 callings. I told him that if that is what the Lord wants me to do, I would be happy to do accept that calling. I did explain that if the Mission President wants us to go to another ward or stake, we have to be free to do that and he said that he had already explained that to the new RS President. So, once again I am in the Relief Society Presidency. This is a relatively small group of active women. With some serving in the primary and the young women’s. we don’t have a huge group that attends each Sunday. I’m sure there must be a long list of inactive sisters, so we will have our work cut out for us. I can only do so much with our busy schedule, but I will do all I can and it will be fun to get to know the sisters better.

My new favorite Tongan saying is, “Life Happens.” They say it when someone dies unexpectedly, when someone gets very ill, when someone loses a job, when ever something life changing happens. They just look at the positive side of the situation, put their trust in the Lord and know that with His help everything will work out. They know His plan is perfect so they say, “life happens” and then wait to see what His plan for them is. It is an amazing way to look at life and it has been such a learning experience for me to watch people face the challenges life throws at them with a smile on their face and just keep going. Eventually they are right, things do work out and then they express their gratitude for the blessings they have experienced.