Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2 May 2016 - Oamai oe??!

That means "how are you?" in Samoan.  I also know "baptism" and "white girl".  That's pretty much all I talk about in life anyways, so basically I'm fluent.
So, I'm *kind of* training Sister Reupena (reh-oo-PAIN-uh), my new companion.  She is from Samoa, and she actually already served as a missionary for 3 months in her hometown in Samoa before she came to the MTC in provo.  So she's already trained... kind of!  She had never taught the gospel in English before she came to the Missionary Training Center 4 weeks ago.  So I'm helping her teach in English.  That's fun.  She's a very, very sweet person with a very, very strong testimony.  I've learned a lot of things.  I've learned to speak slower.  And louder.  My throat hurts at the end of every day.  That's probably not healthy. #nodes  I've also learnednot to say things like "keep your eyes peeled."  I still do, though.  It's a good time.   

Many people have canceled their appointments this week.  I feel bad for Sister Reupena.  The culture shock is one thing, but she also told me that she'd have about 10 lessons per day in Samoa.  The work rolls forth in a different way here in the fertile mountains of Idaho, especially in Sugar City.  In fact, let me just make a farming metaphor real quick to explain.  Before one harvests the crop (be it alfalfa, corn, wheat, or potatoes) there is a lot to be done.  They run the tractor over the land quite a few times.  I'm not real sure what they're doing.  The farmers here talk a lot about "preparing the soil".  (SIDE NOTE:  I toured a potato cellar and rode in a tractor with a farmer here. Pics to come.)  So there's preparing the soil, which has a few sub-facets in and of itself, I'm sure.  Fertilization.  That takes time.  Then watering.  That takes THE WHOLE TIME.  Unless, of course, it's like Houston where Noah 2.0 is happening, apparently.  At some point, the seed is planted.  I'm not sure when that happens.. (in farming OR in missionary work.  Sometimes we don't see the spirit planting seeds.  That's why we need faith.)  Little by little you begin to see results.  It grows over time.  Sometimes the harvest is beautiful and plentiful.  Sometimes everything dies.  Farmers are faithful gamblers, I've decided.   It's the same with missionary work here.  For some people it takes a LONG time before they realize that Christ can heal them. It takes a long time before they let him.  A lot of the people we teach already KNOW a lot.  The seed has been planted.  We're just trying to help them re-discover their testimony.  That's what our work with the less-actives is like.  Maybe they won't come back to church for 10 years.  Maybe 10 weeks.  It's not our job to re-activate or baptize people immediately.  It's different with every crop, in every area, with every soil, and every season.  Same with individuals.  I'm trying to learn that.  One of our ward mission leaders literally told us to hold off on trying to teach this woman in their area so that the members can fellowship them more first and "prepare the soil" for us.  His exact words.  I"m trying to learn how to help them feel God's love for them and feel the spirit based off of their needs.  It's such an important part of missionary work.  It's also incredibly difficult.  The field is white already to harvest.  In some parts of the field, yes.  It is ready.  There are individuals I've met that are completely prepared and ready to progress.  For others, we've got to sweat, labor, and get sunburnt in their field with them (still being metaphorical here).  It's hard.  They've gone through some harrowing times.  It's exhausting just hearing about their spiritual journey.  But, the hard part of the work has got to be done if the rewarding part is going to happen.  I may not be the one to witness the rewarding part, but being able to work in this portion of land that God has appointed to me and Sister Reupena is rewarding enough.  It's a big responsibility.  But I'll do it.  

Sister McIntosh

 trainer.  We taught these chicks, and they said we could come chick in on them later to teach them again.  So, we'll peck our bags and do it.  It's no birden.

This is the potato cellar we toured with some of my good spbuddies.  The inside and outside are pictured.  IT was fascinating and cold.  He let us take a bag home.  They were good. Literally he sells them to 5 guys.  So when you go to 5 guys and it says the potatoes came from Teton, Idaho, there's a 99% chance that I know the people who grew them.  

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