Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WEEK 49 "Happy New Year"

Friends and Family,

I couldn't have asked for a better way to start a new year. Transfer day was Tuesday and I am now out in San Pablo training again. Elder Finau is from Tonga but has lived in New Zealand for a while. He's great. I've learned so much from him already and can already see how the work is going to go these next couple months. Wonderful. He has the biggest heart and is so giving. He has a testimony that fills each lesson with the spirit instantly. If we keep eating like we are we may not make it into some of these houses. So excited to report in the following weeks about everything here in San Pablo.

New Year's Eve was amazing. We are re-opening this area which simple means both of us are clueless of what is going on. We wen out and started talking to people just trying to get into a house. We walked down one street and a man in his early thirty's called us over and asked if we had a few minutes to talk. He said he had a couple questions and instantly I judged him thinking that it was to be some sort of debate. I said a quick prayer asking for the knowledge of how to answer his questions without making it an argument. He started of by saying that he wanted to know the truth about some of the rumors he's heard about Mormons. We were able to answer the other questions he had using the Book of Mormon. He asked that we come back and teach him more about the gospel and especially the Book of Mormon. We met some other people and were able to leave a question enough for them that they want us to come back. 

We walked past a little shack that had a line of kids standing outside of with bags and pots. We passed by quietly and a brother came out from behind with a big smile on his face and shouted "lets eat!" He had us come in for a second and told us that every year, he cooks masses of food for those that don't have much money. He sat us down at a small table and gave us a bowl of hot soup. We finished it and he shouted "eat more." Having just come from a members house that fed us we politely declined the soup and then out from the back came a lady with drinks and more food for us. It wasnt soup, Just more food haha. We ate a bit more, took some pictures and then proceed to leave. The brother placed his hand on my shoulder and said I want you to remember me when you go home and give back like I have given to you. We left him with a couple words and he asked that we come back and talk to him more about the gospel. 

The entire time we were out Elder Finau kept saying "these people are so kind." This is an amazing place to be serving and what a blessing it is to be a part of hastening the work. Jesus Christ lives. His mission is one of love. May ours be as well. The Book of Mormon changes live only because its true. I love you.

Elder O'Neil