The Secret Life of Bize II: Revenge of the Pearson- Week 31
Ka oha nui mes chers freres et soeurs! from the Marquesas - the land where kids have a vacation from school every six weeks (seriously, how much time do they actually spend in school?)
This week was a huge rollercoaster, full of laughter and copious amounts of stress as we prepared for the arrival of Elder Pearson.
I'd say the craziest events of the week besides that were the mega-cleaning of our house (just for Bize and Pearson to never come to our house), my meeting a guy born in Texas to a Jewish family but raised in Argentina who owns a bar in the Galapagos Islands who up and left for the Marquesas one day just on a whim (the captain of a boat that came into his bar asked him) without even knowing how to speak French (he only speaks English and Italian), and Louis and Michelline not coming to church AGAIN.
But after all of that, the greatest event of the week was my meeting a general authority; a seventy no less. Ladies and gentlemen, Elder Pearson, the President of the Pacific, came to our island and gave two crazy talks in our chapel and spoke to me and it was all highly incredible. I sincerely hope that he becomes a new apostle. His talks were just so powerful. The things that he taught weren't necessarily new, but the perspective he gave on those subjects was great. he himself really just felt like a church leader should feel - the sweet old dude who is well-refined with a good sense of humor that you just know is a servant of the Lord. The calming spirit he brought was so soothing. And frankly there was nothing about us he didn't know. He told Abbate stuff that only he and Heavenly Father knew. For me he didn't produce a specific detail, but he hugged me like we were family and he told me all the encouragement I needed to keep me going. I just about cried. And then his counsel for both of us as missionaries was "Thank you so much for your service," and, "Keep working hard!" (of course).
How lucky are we to have met him so personally like that? Us AND our branch. It was absolutely unbelievable. He was such a genuine guy. He was shedding tears and talking about how he was in the most beautiful place on Earth with the sweetest people he's ever met. What a stud. He actually got the chance to go to the other side of the island (Aakapa), and he kind of started a prayer group out there (for all the people that can't make it to the chapel for church on Sunday) and he met the mayor and drove him to goosebumps talking about eternal families (we're going to try and start teaching him soon!). He was just so spiritually strong, even with t he son of District President O'Connor, Brian, translating for him (who by the way, is kind of the chillest bro ever that I hope I meet again in the future).
It really was quite the weekend. I'm so thankful that I was here for that; that this was like, an event in my life. I don't think I could've ever imagined things like this as my future; the people I'd meet, the food I'd eat, the Marquesas, everything. Who could've ever predicted that those things are what awaited me in the eighteenth year of my life? Who could've ever guessed, holding me as a baby, that this would be my future? The future is a magnificent and unexpected thing, and it truly is only God who can know something like that and have all these things in store for me. I am so grateful to be blessed like this, and I can only imagine what my future holds and what will happen to me in the future. What a glorious thing this life is, and what a great thing to be a part of.
(excerpts taken from my journal)
And now, I leave you with some paraphrases of the teachings of Elder Pearson:
"We can't remember all that was said and done before this life, but that doesn't mean that we've forgotten. We are the children of the promises of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Nobody came to Earth to forget. Those promises are planted in our hearts. Our Heavenly Father will never leave us, and he always listens, and the Holy Ghost will ALWAYS remind you of what you've always know."
I testify of the truthfulness of these things, adding to his witness, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have a good week everybody!
-us with Elder Pearson (as missionaries, we don't have the right to ask a general authority for a picture, but the members peer-pressured us into getting into this picture so how could we say no? That's why we're with Celestine (who comes to church a little more regularly now!))
-Elder Pearson and Brain O'Connor the Translator and First Counselor in the District Presidency (he studied at BYU Hawaii, so that's why he speaks English)
-"the birds" (no really it's called the bird dance)
-the Relief Society
-Elder Pearson with our bishopric and this SWEET oar with all these crazy carvings that costs like a bajillion dollars (it was his gift) (it was a bad moment for the picture though)
-this skull was on a sign
-dude look at my tan
-"... Apparently there's a leak..." (total joke we took care of it)