July 12, 2015

Tuvalu - Week 8

Whoa.. This week was the best week of my mission by far.  

This week we were blessed to have Elder Johanssen, an Area Seventy, and my mission president, President Layton come to Tuvalu.  They came in on Thursday and they are leaving tomorrow, but it has been a week of miracles with them here!  I don't even know where to start to be honest.

So they came in and we were able to talk to them and get to know them.  Elder Johanssen was born in Tonga and raised in New Zealand, and he now is a Seventy over Fiji, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon, Kirabus, and Marshall Islands.  And man he is one cool guy!  Everyone we went and visited with him was laughing their heads off one minute, and then crying the next minute because of the Spirit.  We were able to go on many visits with him and President Layton (though never at the same time) to our investigators, members, and less-active members.  As we did so they began to change people's lives.  They shared a message and invited so many of our members to prepare to enter the temple and be sealed as a family.  They challenged fathers to be worthy to receive the Priesthood so they could bless the lives of their wives and children.  I don't have enough time to explain each story, because there are too many.  But I feel very blessed to be a witness of their ministering.  The Spirit was present so powerfully on the island of Tuvalu, and it set things into place perfectly so that President Layton and Elder Johanssen were able to bless the lives of many.  It was a week of miracles!

And then Sunday was amazing.  I have never seen the meetinghouse so full!  There almost wasn't enough room for all the people to come inside.  Even random people who I have never seen decided to get up and go to church yesterday.  The Spirit was present on Tuvalu.  President Layton talked about the importance of the Sacrament, and how we can really renew our covenants during that sacred time.  And then Elder Johanssen spoke about preaching the gospel.  He spoke about how we should not be ashamed of the gospel, we should put ourselves out there and be an example to all people.  We should join hands with our Christian brothers and sisters instead of talking behind each others backs'.  It was so good.

Today Elder Pomate and I were lucky and got interviewed by President Layton and Elder Johanssen!  They gave a lot of really helpful advice and I have found so much that I can learn from them.  They have a pretty big vision for Tuvalu, and now I do too.  This place is so special to the Lord, and His gospel is going to be spread.

Alofa atu!

Elder Harris

This is a note from Elder Harris' father.  After reading Elder Harris' email this week I called my cousin Michelle, because I remember her telling me that her husband Charles Cocker, who grew up in New Zealand, was friends with the Area Seventy assigned to Fiji.  Turns out that Elder Johanssen was that Area Seventy.  It's a small world!

So after church we had a big feast, where President Niko killed his pig for the umu.  Haha afterwards he said (in his Tuvaluan accent), "I don't eat my pig because I love my pig, but I happy that everyone eat my pig."  :)

Elder Johansson with the Teauli family

Branch Council Training

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