WE FINALLY GOT TO WATCH GENERAL CONFERENCE!! It was definitely the highlight of my week because for a while I didn't think we would have the chance to watch it. It was amazing, and I learned so very much and had a lot of questions answered. One of my favorite quotes came from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "The Lord does not make it easy but he makes it possible." The challenges we face are stretching us and molding us into who our Heavenly Father wants us to be. We can do this with His help!
Another highlight of the week was running into Papa Shem at the port with his boat, The Big Sista. He goes between Santo and Port Vila once a week shipping people and supplies. When I got out of the taxi he looked over and saw me and got a huge smile on his face and ran over to talk to us. He acted just like a dad, asking me how I liked Santo, my area, and my companion. He was great and just a crack up like normal. It was a blessing to be able to see him again. I love him and his family!
We've been working with the family of Aru and Cicillia (last week I sent a picture of Cicillia and her new baby Mary if you remember). We have taught them and, with the birth of their new baby, I think it has really opened their eyes to what they want for their children and family. They came and watched general conference with us on Sunday. Tony and Pricilla came to watch conference with their children, as well as Leann and Samuel. General Conference was a miracle in and of itself, but it also helped bring in our investigators. They had an amazing experience hearing the word of God directly from His living prophets and apostles.
I don't know if any of you remember, but while I was in Port Vila we went with the eldas to give a priesthood blessing to a girl named Valerie. She had been in the hospital for a few days because her leg had swollen up. During our visit the elda promised her a full recovery in the blessing. Last week Sista Sellesin (my former missionary companion) called me and said that Valerie had died. It was heart breaking!
During my personal study for the past week I have done a lot of studying about the priesthood. I have come to realize that just because we want something to happen, it doesn't always happen. The priesthood is a key given by God to help move His work forward. Just like in the movie "Charly" we can want something, but if it isn't God's will it won't happen. It made me realize how important it is to make God's will our will. When we do so we demonstrate our faith and trust in Him completely. We trust that God sees the bigger picture, and that He knows all. He will do what He knows will help us most. Miracles do happen; I've seen it when Thomas Yataca was healed after falling on his back out of a swing. We have to KNOW before challenges come (and they will!) so that when our faith is tested we can say, "I know and I trust my Heavenly Father." I love my Savior and I am coming to realize more and more how much He loves me and is aware of me. He will NEVER leave us alone; it is not His character, as President Utchdorf told us in general conference. Please keep Valerie's family in your prayers during this difficult time!