Monday, September 21, 2015
Teaching a Chief (Matai)
Talofa lava outou le au paia malosi o se isi mea.
Howdy. Well everything here is going dandy, other then our internet. The internet here takes about 50 years to do anything. But other then that I am doing dandy.
We had a tsunami warning this week but it ended up being just some waves that weren't big enough to be called tsunamis. SO that was fun. This week we spent a lot of time out tracting because there's not many investigators in our area. We cover a ward (Leone 3rd) and a branch (Amanave) and we have the biggest area in American Samoa.
Cool story that a happened this week: when I got called to this area I heard that the work here was pretty dead because of one of the Chiefs or Matai of the village. This Matai doesn't like the church so she (yeah its a girl Matai) is making it very hard for the church to grow in that area.
This last Monday we got a call from a lady who said that she had a family member who she wanted us to meet with. We set up a time to go with her to meet her family member. She and her sister came and picked up my comp and I and took us to the other side of our area (about a 45 minute drive).
While we were driving they told us about the lady we were going to visit. They said that she was one of the high talking chiefs of Amanave, her name is Taua and she had agreed to meet with the missionaries but they weren't too sure if she would actually like to listen to us of just Bible bash. Samoans love Bible bashing.
As I asked more questions about this lady I realized that the lady we where going to visit was the Matai that had been giving the church a hard time for the past few years. I started praying like crazy as soon as I realized that.
When we met her she seemed like a pretty nice lady. We entered her house and we started to talk with her and get to know her. She holds a high calling in her church and she works for her church as well. She is one of the highest Chiefs in the village. We told her that we had a message that we would like to share with her and we asked if we could start with a prayer. We said a prayer and asked for the spirit to be with us.
After the prayer we taught her about the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. She listened very carefully and asked a few questions. When we were almost done I asked if she had any questions and she said "I don't know, I'm starting to doubt my church. Are you saying that my church isn't true?" ...
We told her that all churches have some truth but the only church that has the entire truth is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Then we invited her to be baptized. She said that it would be hard for her because she had such a solid foundation in her church, but she said to give her a bit of time to find out for herself, through prayer, if this was right. It was amazing to see the spirit work in her and help her see the truth of this gospel. We are going back to visit her again this saturday to follow up on the invite to be baptized. If you all could keep her in your prayers then that would be awesome.
I love you all and I will write again next week. Sorry if I don't always reply to all of you, this internet is so slow. It takes me about 5 minutes to open up an email. But I love reading all your emails so please keep sending them!
Thanks for the prayers,
Grandma Lamoreaux sent this parable to Jace after reading this email:
"Among the material things of the past—things that I treasure for sweet memory’s sake and because of pleasant association in bygone days—is a lamp. …
The lamp of which I speak, the student lamp of my school and college days, was one of the best of its kind. I had bought it with hard-earned savings; it was counted among my most cherished possessions. …
One summer evening I sat musing studiously and withal restfully in the open air outside the door of the room in which I lodged and studied. A stranger approached. I noticed that he carried a satchel. He was affable and entertaining. I brought another chair from within, and we chatted together till the twilight had deepened into dusk, the dusk into darkness.
Then he said: “You are a student and doubtless have much work to do of nights. What kind of lamp do you use?” And without waiting for a reply, he continued, “I have a superior kind of lamp I should like to show you, a lamp designed and constructed according to the latest achievements of applied science, far surpassing anything heretofore produced as a means of artificial lighting.”
I replied with confidence, and I confess, not without some exultation: “My friend, I have a lamp, one that has been tested and proved. It has been to me a companion through many a long night. It is an Argand lamp, and one of the best. I have trimmed and cleaned it today; it is ready for the lighting. Step inside; I will show you my lamp; then you may tell me whether yours can possibly be better.”
We entered my study room, and with a feeling which I assume is akin to that of the athlete about to enter a contest with one whom he regards as a pitiably inferior opponent, I put the match to my well-trimmed Argand.
My visitor was voluble in his praise. It was the best lamp of its kind, he said. He averred that he had never seen a lamp in better trim. He turned the wick up and down and pronounced the adjustment perfect. He declared that never before had he realized how satisfactory a student lamp could be.
I liked the man; he seemed to me wise, and he assuredly was ingratiating. “Love me, love my lamp,” I thought, mentally paraphrasing a common expression of the period.
“Now,” said he, “with your permission I’ll light my lamp.” He took from his satchel a lamp then known as the “Rochester.” It had a chimney which, compared with mine, was as a factory smokestack alongside a house flue. Its hollow wick was wide enough to admit my four fingers. Its light made bright the remotest corner of my room. In its brilliant blaze my own little Argand wick burned a weak, pale yellow. Until that moment of convincing demonstration, I had never known the dim obscurity in which I had lived and labored, studied and struggled.
“I’ll buy your lamp,” said I; “you need neither explain nor argue further.” I took my new acquisition to the laboratory that same night and determined its capacity. It turned at over 48 candlepower—fully four times the intensity of my student lamp.
Two days after purchasing, I met the lamp peddler on the street about noontime. To my inquiry he replied that business was good; the demand for his lamps was greater than the factory supply. “But,” said I, “you are not working today?” His rejoinder was a lesson. “Do you think that I would be so foolish as to go around trying to sell lamps in the daytime? Would you have bought one if I had lighted it for you when the sun was shining? I chose the time to show the superiority of my lamp over yours, and you were eager to own the better one I offered, were you not?”
Such is the story. Now consider the application of a part, a very small part, thereof.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” [Matt. 5:16].
The man who would sell me a lamp did not disparage mine. He placed his greater light alongside my feebler flame, and I hasted to obtain the better.
The missionary servants of the Church of Jesus Christ today are sent forth, not to assail or ridicule the beliefs of men, but to set before the world a superior light, by which the smoky dimness of the flickering flames of man-made creeds shall be apparent. The work of the Church is constructive, not destructive.""