Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 30 - What a Week!!!

So I'm going to let everyone know right up front, this is going to be a huge email. One of the greatest things of my mission happened this week and I have to tell the full story. There are also a lot of little things that made this a way cool week, so bear with me.

Ok, so I think it was Monday night or Tuesday, we found out that one of our investigators, Morite, would be leaving with her aunt to Vaitupu, an outer island of Tuvalu. We were all way sad because we were going to give her this Saturday to be baptized. She had been coming to church and she was loving the lessons. So we set up our last appointment for Wednesday to say goodbye and stuff. It was at that lesson, at her aunts house where she told us the good news. She wasn't leaving!!! And the next thing out of her mouth was so can I still get baptized? Elder Paki and I figured out that we could teach her everything that she needed to know before that Saturday, so we said yes!! We went back everyday that week and taught her. It was way, cool she was so interested and loved it all. And another cool thing, her birthday is the exact same day and year as Zach!!! 8/19/1999!! 

On Friday, when it came time for her interview, we asked her where her dad was so that he could sign the baptismal record. She looked at us and said that he was a pastor for the biggest church in Tuvalu. When we asked her if she had asked permission if she could get baptized, she said that when she asked him he just said "yes, yes go do what you want". Then she explained to us that she didn't live with him anymore. So we asked if her aunt would be willing to sign it and she said yes. Elder Paki did the interview and it went perfect!!! She wanted me to baptize her. 

So Saturday, we went down to the church at 8:40 because the baptism was scheduled for 9, but in true Tuvalu fashion it didn't start until 10. :) We had two people getting baptized this week, Morite and Teofoga. The service was amazing!!! I have had baptisms before, but the spirit was definitely stronger at this one, maybe because we worked so hard with each girl in different ways. We found Teofoga the first or second week that Elder Paki and I were in Tuvalu together and now the last Saturday before Elder Paki leaves she finally got baptized!!! It was crazy!!!!

But that was not the only fun thing that we did. On Saturday, after the baptism, Elder Paki and I walked back down to the flat to prepare for the monumental task we were about to try, to walk the whole island of Tuvalu in one day. We decided we were going to try this because we had an appointment at the bottom of the island as well as one close to the top and Elder Paki wanted to say goodbye to everyone that we see up top. So we left the flat and headed down to the bottom. Half way down, Morite drove past. We told her what we were doing and she said that she wanted to join us. So she dropped off her scooter and we walked down to the bottom. When we got there, the tide was low and it was dry all the way to the next island over, so we decided to walk to it and start our journey there. The walk was a little longer then we thought and it took almost 20 minutes to get there. When we got there, we turned around and to our horror we saw the tide coming in and so we just took a couple of quick pics there and then started back without resting. We got back to the shore of the main island right before the tide closed in. So that was a way fun adventure. We looked at our time and realized that it was 3:30 and we knew takes about 3 hours to get to the top walking. We had another appointment at 8 so we decided that we would just have to keep going. So me, Morite and Elder Paki walked for about 2 hours straight up to our appointment. She was busy, but Elder Paki did get a pic with her and said goodbye so that was good and then we continued. When it got to be about 6:30 and we still were not there, we started to get worried about not making it back in time, but we had come to far to turn around. So we continued and along the way we picked up two little kids that wanted to join too so the 5 of us walked the 30 minutes we had left to the top of the island!!! It had been about 6 hours since Elder Pakiand I had left our flat we made it!!!!! But we couldn't stay and rest because we had to make our way back down to a members house who had a car and ask them if they could give us a ride into town so that we could make it back to our dinner on time. That last hour was the worst!!! We had been walking for so long and we had not eaten all day and we were just dead!!! On the way Elder Paki and I discussed what would be the best thing to do if one of us passed out and I'll have to say it was fun talking about and it got our minds off of walking. We finally made it down to the members house and I guess we looked pretty hammered because he said his first thought was that one of us was hurt. He got us into town on time and we at dinner at Logotau's. I was so sunburned and tired but he had cooked a bunch of fish and we chowed and slowly started to feel better. I ate a whole fish, eyes, brain and tail too and it was amazing!!!! After, we dragged ourselves back to the flat and got in bed as soon as possible. I am still sore!!!! Walking a long way to a lesson where we sit down and rest is one thing, but walking 7 and a half hours none stop hurt way bad, but we talked to a lot of people and did it, bottom to top in one day!!! It was amazing.

That was about it for my week. I am looking forward to the temple dedication and hearing Pres. Eyring speak!!! We leave on Thursday to go back into Fiji. I know that it will be a great time but I am also sad to leave Elder Paki. He has been awesome!!! Way sad to part ways, but it's time to start a new chapter in my mission. I will be getting my new comp and returning to Tuvalu for 3 more months!!

Alofa Atu,

Elder Brown
A lot has happened this week but this was definitely a highlight. 
          Baptized by Elder Paki- Teofoga Lusama
          Baptized by me- Morite Bakate 

Me on our walk

Another Baptism Pic

The whole fish I ate

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