May 25, 2015

It's Good to be from Canada, eh?‏

Meet Sister Arbuckle, a crazy English-speaking Quebecois, who makes me laugh and go running in the morning. 

This week we made a plan that for 21 days we are going to fast from all desserts, meaning: cake, cookies, ice cream, crepes, and chocolate... yes, my friends, even chocolate...

We decided to do this to help two of our investigators obey the word of wisdom. We have fixed with them that at the end of the 21 days (June 13) will be their baptism. It is already hard. Haha... First we had to have the desire to count chocolate as a dessert (and not as a essential food group) and then choosing to give it up. It is an interesting experience because we have been able to feel somewhat the same emotions and thinking as our investigators in the sacrifices that they are making and we are praying that this will help them have more faith and willpower to overcome their addictions.

One great blessing of this week was to assist an endowment and sealing of a previously inactive family that I was able to teach at the visitor's center plusiers fois. The first time they came to the center, we gave the presentation about the Plan of Salvation and I remember the husband asking if he could "come back everyday to keep watching the presentation over and over again, to understand and remember the plan Heavenly Father created." The Spirit was incredibly sweet as this couple was sealed together and to then have their three youngest children sealed to them.                                                                                

Another unbelievable miracle was with a twelve year old girl, T. She has been coming to church every week since January with her family, but they expressed they were not yet interested in following the missionary lessons. On Thursday, the Bishop asked us to contact T. On Saturday we had our first lessons with her where she told us that she wants to be baptized, and on Sunday we fixed her baptism for May 30 (as in this Saturday! one week from the first lesson). She is a remarkable young woman who has already started Personal Progress and regular scripture study, she is pure in heart. This experience has been a testimony for us that Heavenly Father helps His children to have what they need, when they are ready for it. Sister Arbuckle and I have honestly just been there to make sure all is in line for her interview. We are still shocked that it has come about so fast.

Il y a tellement, tellement beaucoup de choses qui se passe chaque semaine que, des fois, ca devient difficile d'exprimer tous les sentiments et des experiences. Je suis reconnaissante pour ma mission. Pour tout que j'ai appris jusqu'a la, pour ma famille qui me soutient et aussi pour L'Expiation de Jesus-Christ qui m'apporte le pardon pour le temps quand j'etait pas la meillure missionaire que j'aurais pu ete. Et qui a ete la lorsque j'avais besoin de la force de continuer. C'est vraiment un processus, le fait de "devenir un missionaire." Et j'espere tout le temps que je suis meillure aujourd'hui que j'etais hier. Je sais que c'est possible a travers Jesus-Christ.

Faa'ito'ito et Bonne Semaine!
Soeur Spackman

May 18, 2015

Pockets of Sunshine

Joyful Baptisms of Oceane, Romina, and Makeli

I'm 20 in Tahiti and I still got my Lemon Poppy Seed Cake!
Thanks Mom!!
My friend Maimiti Miti just received her mission call to Las Vegas!
The Happiness of Children
Thank you so much for all of your emails. I am feeling really good this week. We have been blessed with many tender mercies as I am fighting to overcome trials. I read an article in the Liahona for June that really helped me to have a clearer perspective and the message was the Lord visits His people with assurances until deliverance comes. My eyes were opened to so many moments that Heavenly Father sent me, assuring me that everything would be okay, and helping me to keep moving forward. Deliverance is now coming.

Laughter and smiles are coming back to my face. The day is scattered with small pockets of sunshine that come only with a mission. I love my mission. I LOVE MY MISSION. Sometimes I wasn't able to say it, but it has come! I love our investigators. I love teaching the gospel. I love learning the gospel. I love the Plan of Salvation. It is perfect. The scriptures are rich with teachings of the Fall and the Atonement. General Conference talks are rich with encouragement for our lives today. Heavenly Father does all things in His perfect wisdom, even if we do not yet understand, one day, our eyes will be opened.

Also, the feelings of a greater vision, the goals of things I want to continue to do for the rest of my life, and excitement for my future in the church and as a wife and mother. I can see! and that helps me so much to bear the burden with cheer and to love the burden. I wish I could share everything with you that has become a part of me. Things that I cherish and never want to lose.

My favorite scripture at this time, Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


May 6, 2015

Joy In The Journey

Baptism of Claire and Tetua
La Fautaua
Hike to the waterfall with President Bize and our Zone
Drinking from the Fountain of Youth
These past two weeks, Soeur Teriihaunui and I were able to find 12 new investigators so far. It has been a miracle. As with Nephi and Lehi of old, the Liahona (the Spirit) led us into "the most fertile parts of the wilderness." One day, we would go to a house, find and teach one person, then fix a lesson for the next day. When we came back, there would be other family members to sit in on the lesson, and we were able to find more investigators. Almost all 8 of those we found this week live in the same area of our secteur.

Two experiences that were especially striking this week happened like that.

We had found a young wife and mother and we started teaching her the plan of salvation with her cousin. The next day we came back to finish her lesson and while we were reviewing the information we went over the day before, her husband started listening and then came and sat himself down in the middle of the lesson. As we explained more and more, he became more and more transfixed with the message. At the end, he asked, "can you come back tomorrow?" He is thirsty for the gospel.

We also starting teaching the plan of salvation to two children using images and laying it all out on the ground, after about 1 or 2 minutes, we had about 15 children surrounding us and drinking it in. They were so excited to learn! We will see if they will come again for the lesson on Wednesday.

This Saturday, Romina and Oceane and Makeli will be getting baptized. They are so excited.

The lesson for Keanu last evening was powerful and it was mostly taught by our Bishop, helping Keanu precisely define his hesitations. At the end, Keanu said he knows he needs to be baptized, he could feel the rightness of it burning in his heart. He is still hesitant, however, because he wants to follow his father, also he doesn't want to keep making the same mistakes. We know one day, soon, he will be baptized.

We have confidence in him to do what he knows to be the right thing, to join the Church of Jesus Christ and in doing that, joining with Christ, committing to follow him. Not for his family, not for the missionaries, but for him and because he loves Jesus Christ.

I ask you all to keep praying for Keanu, and also Romina, Oceane, and Makeli, and that we might each take up the path leading towards eternal life.

Soeur Spackman