Holy Polynesia-- Week 69
Tuesday - got my new fils (translate: son), Elder Anderson. He's a really sweet dude from Oregon/New Hampshire. He's got a really good French base. His dad served a mission in Bordeaux, and Neil L. Andersen was his mission president at the time. Really awesome. Also had to take the new kids that are going out into the islands into the visitor's center immediately after the distribution of children at President Bize's house to have them start packing their little suitcase to take on the plane. Scared all of them haha. They're all so new!
Wednesday - went to a meeting with President and Soeur Bize and all the service missionaries that work at the office. It was kind of funny honestly. We talked about matresses and pillows for a really long time... I got invited for the Christmas portion though. Soeur Bize is in charge of organizing our missionary Christmas party and she wanted to know the logistics of trying to film all the sketches that are going to be performed that night. It honestly felt cool to be the expert/specialist that could give legitimate, useful, seasoned technical advice on the logistics of making a portion of a large event happen. But I'm not letting my head get too big about it... Also Elder Anderson had his first few lessons too. He jumped right in and spoke some seriously good Tahitian and won the hearts of our investigators. Really cool.
Thursday - had another meeting with Soeur Bize and the assistants for the Christmas party. Again, feeling like a big wig. We also actually did weekly planning.
Friday - nothing really...
Saturday - did a temple lesson really early in the morning, and then all our lessons for the day got cancelled. We've only got two investigators that progress right now...
Sunday - came up with our Christmas-themed lesson/presentation for the visitor's center. Nailed it.
Today - went on a hike up to a cross this morning, and then came back and hit up the pastry shop.
Last night I was reading this talk by President Monson that was really the culminating effect of the lesson I learned this week. Something that, for me, renders this gospel true and functions in my brain is the fact that sin really does hurt us. I've been pondering on the world and the human condition this week (like I do every day), and the fact that society is just about to the point of thinking that a concept of right and wrong no longer exist (which is a ridiculous fallacy considering there are still laws for countries, and morals and laws of country are inherently connected, really), and how silly that really is. I had a theory that right and wrong existed inherently, and that we, as spirit children of our Heavenly Father, know and remember deep in our subconscious what it was like to be with Him and know when we're doing something right or wrong. Of course there are some things that different societies and cultures hold in a different regard, as well as the gravity thereof, but I postulate the theory that even if we're raised with no knowledge of an action being wrong, we can still feel, however slight the sentiment may be, that there's something wrong with it. This theory was supported for me by Moroni 7:15. All things with the Light of Christ have the capacity to judge between right and wrong. That's why I also feel that whenever we feel the Spirit or the Spirit testifies to us of truth, it's just that we're feeling a bit of home. Our Spirit remembers what home feels like, and sometimes love just traverses too many dimensions and is too powerful for even the veil to block from our very state of being.
Continuing off of this theory, what I really learned this week and what I felt last night was the idea that we are literally damaging ourselves when we do what's wrong. If you want a scientific proof of this, take the extremes. Murder, as best-stated by Harry Potter "tears apart the soul". It mentally ruins people, at minimum. And as the French language would have us believe, the mind and the spirit are the same thing (there's only one word for both of those things in French. But I guess it's kind of true when you really think about it. There's your brain, but then there's your very state of being that uses that brain; your consciousness/spirit (which is kind of what is taught in the Krishna Consciousness society; a religion of sorts from India. We learn this from A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada in his book about the Krishna Consciousness (something I read a bit of before my mission))). People are mentally disturbed/ill once they've committed murder, and in the eyes of society, it is wrong. Thusly, sin literally hurts your spirit; no matter who you are or where you're from or how you were raised.
When we say the Atonement heals us, it's really healing our spirit, and only the divine is capable of such a feat. That for me is not a matter of perspective or opinion, I feel like that's just how the universe bloody works. And I say that to any religion or scientific community. The human soul is a creature that we cannot nor can ever fully understand and deep healing cannot be explained nor attained by scientific means. Only a higher power can offer these things, and that's why the gospel is important; even if people can get hung up on church policy or application.
I read a story about this guy in addiction recovery on the church website, and the fake name they gave him was Tyler and the Psalm the guy used in his story was MY Psalm. It really spoke to me, and I was offered a bit of new perspective on this my favorite psalm. In there, King David proclaims "He restoreth my soul." How I can only think of the agony and anguish in David's very being as he penned this psalm after his infamous downfall. The painting I have included here is literally called "He restoreth my soul" by Walter Rane, and I really like it now. I testify that the Savior is the master healer, in ways we do not fully understand. Keep praying. Don't doubt. Don't give up. I'm trying my hardest. Let's all keep trying. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.