Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Week!

Sister Betero, Amina, Sister Draper and two pikinini
 Merry Christmas!!!  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas week!  This week we had the chance to share the Christmas story with a lot of people, members and nonmembers.  We've invited each of them to think about the wise men and the gifts that they gave to their Savior and then to think about what they can give to their Savior this Christmas.  It's been really neat to hear about all the ideas that people come up with.  Some have talked about giving more service, trying not to swear, spending more time with children and trying to trust God more.  As we shared this Christmas message with Amina she was really touched and shared with us about how she has continuously struggled with the word of wisdom.  She feels like she keeps relapsing again and again.  She shared with us about the time she prayed and asked God why this was so hard for her.  She felt like God was telling her that she needed to struggle this much because it was bringing her back to Him.  I know how true this is and had the chance to testify to her, using personal experiences.  God really does give us challenges to help us grow and become closer to Him.  We fasted with her this past Sunday for added strength to resist the temptation to drink kava.  She is also in the process of finding a new house so that she doesn't live in a yard with a nakamal (place to drink kava).  Please keep her in your prayers as she continues to work to live the word of wisdom.
Making Laplap with Julie and her family
We had the chance to make laplap with Julie and her family this week.  Laplap is the national dish of Vanuatu. Laplap is prepared by pounding breadfruit, taro or yam roots into a dough. The dough is then cooked in an underground oven, with fresh coconut cream and some pork, beef, chicken or flying fox in taro or spinach leaves.  I scratched a full arm of bananas!  We came back later and ate all together.  That night both Sista Betero and I felt super sick, but it was a good chance to get to know Julie's family and gain their trust.  We invited Julie to get baptized this past week, but her parents won't allow it.  She's been reading The Book of Mormon like crazy and is currently in 2 Nephi 20.  She knows it is true.  She knows that Joseph Smith is a true prophet!  It's so hard when investigators know and have a testimony, but then their family blocks them!  We hope that the time we spent together making laplap and talking with her family will open some doors and soften their hearts.

This upcoming week we have the branch Christmas party on the 24th and all the missionaries are dancing and singing--so that will be fun!  Christmas we will spend with the branch, and then have a missionary devotional at night.  I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!!  Love you lots!

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