I hope everyone in Georgia is enjoying the nice arctic weather. I'm almost jealous but I think I'll stick with my tropical climate for the moment. This week was pretty good concerning the missionary work on the island. For a couple of weeks now Elder Ollerton and I have been trying to set up more church activities to help us find more investigators. When the district leaders from the neighboring island of Tubuai came down about a month ago, they set some pretty massive goals for the next year here at Rurutu. They also gave us some really good ideas too. One of these ideas was to do family home evenings by neighborhood. With the help of our branch president we were able to split Rurutu into 5 different sectors, each with one leader to be in charge of picking the location and date for the FHE. So during this whole last week we spent a good amount of time talking with all the different FHE leaders to help them to pick a date for their FHE this month. The plan is to do one FHE per week, each week in a different neighborhood, so one time per month per neighborhood. Now we just have to get investigators to go to those and we will be set!Also this week were able to teach the family of 6 again this week. We taught them about the plan of salvation and they seemed to really enjoy it. At the end of the lesson both Elder Ollerton and I felt like we should extend some sort of baptismal commitment, so we did that. We asked them (translated) "IF you come to feel that the Book of Mormon is true by the Holy Ghost, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" They all seemed a little apprehensive and we weren't able to get any solid answers other than "we don't know right now" but I still see some good potential in them. We are not giving up on them. We have another lesson with them this Saturday so we will see how that goes.
Something else that I am coming to realize here too is that it is extremely difficult for people to grasp the concept of the authority of God. It amazes me that we are often the first people to present this concept to many people. We spend a lot of time trying to explain authority and why it is necessary and how Jesus even gave this priesthood authority to his disciples, but people never really seem to grasp the concept. They think that anyone who teaches about God or the Bible has this authority to preform these eternal ordinances. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to explain to people that 2+2=4, when their whole lives they have been taught that 2+2=5. All I can do is promise them that through the Holy Ghost I have felt the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that I know without a doubt that it is true and is the word of God and that through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ himself reestablished his church again, along with the priesthood authority of God. Putting myself in their situation I don't really blame them for being reluctant to believe everything that a complete stranger tells them. Those are just some of my thoughts from this week though. I do know that this church is true and that by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truthfulness of all things (Moroni 10:5). These are things I have come to know to be true.
Until then, E mau taata maita'i outou, you are all awesome.Elder Rose
Here is a picture of a vanilla farm owned by a member of our branch.