Monsieur Caussé and the Willy-Nilly Transfer Mishap--Week 80

This week was even busier than the last! I'm exhausted. Thank goodness it's a calm p-day today. We only have to deal with one tranfer, but don't worry we'll get to that...

Tuesday
So many lessons! We only get like 2000 kilometers a month that we can use, and some of our lessons are so far away! This month we have been trying really hard to make our kms count and it's been deadly. Super tricky. Got some new baptism potentials and our woman Vahinehau is still holding out strong for March 11. The rest of her family is slowly starting to come our way too. They come to church now and everything.

Wednesday
More lessons, more things to do. We christened the yaht formerly known as our English class (the only people there were the Young Women haha and even then it was out of convenience and a great big "nothing better to do," but there you go) and then played volleyball.

Thursday
Went to Tahiti for an overnight excursion. Ladies and gentlemen, my hero from the MTC none other than the presiding bishop, Gerald Caussé, came to OUR mission. I was more excited than if Michael Jackson came back from the dead and that's saying a lot!  Caussé's talk in the MTC was so personal and touching for me, and then for our paths to be "destined", if you will, to cross again (Caussé told us the story of Henry B. Eyring tearfully ("he cries a lot," Caussé said. Too funny) telling confirming to him that his (Caussé's) spiritual prompting was correct and was the same as his, that he HAD to go to Tahiti) was very moving and very special for me. And then on top of it all, Caussé and Bize have known each other since they were young, Bize was apparently Caussé's role model in Young Mens, and they have the same high priesthood lineage. Unreal. It was a great big culminating event; as if all of my spiritual journey here on a mission had been leading me to this. It was quite impressive. Made me feel really happy. And what he taught about was definitely what made it all so great (again, a great big culminating sensation. As if all roads of my studies lead to this and he just confirmed all I had been learning). He spoke of how in the vision of the Tree of Life, when we say that the tree represents the love of God, it's really talking about the atonement. That's God's love. In 1 Nephi 11 the "condescendence" of God is personified in Nephi's vision by him seeing Christ's life and ministry as well as the crucifixion. Simple, but eye-opening to a point. And then he proceeded to call us to repentence, but I must say it was one of the kindest, nicest, friendliest calls to repentence I've ever experienced from a general authority. I think sometimes when we hear "call to repentence" it's often in a negative connotation, but frankly that's not the point. This gospel is a gospel of repentence; that is to say, "change." Nothing is ever lost or hopelesss for the Lord. We have the blessing to be anle to repent every day and so we should. Cardon had touched on this, but Caussé hit it home for me. It's how I'd imagine Christ announced to the Nephites to repent. Calm, kindly, and with love. Very moving. Definitely went in the ol' journal.

Friday
Did a training presentation at our zone conference at the last minute, almost missed a boat, and then broke every speed limit to "get to the church on time." We had a wedding, a baptism, and a ball all in one day/night. Crazy party, and a big congratulations to Mélodie and Narii for all that. Ate lots of food, didn't dance (we can't obviously), and then went home. Apparently around 10h30 or 11h00 the cops showed up! Little did we know the Mormons were such rebels. We weren't there for that, but still super funny.

Saturday
Went out and worked some more. Than that evening we had our movie night; a new activity our ward has put in place. It got us some references! Also we watched this movie called Woodlawn. It's a true story about this football team in Birmingham, Alabama back in the 70s when racism was still strong and all that, and how everybody became all united in faith and whatnot. Honestly not too bad of a film. I was pleasantly surprised.

Sunday
Confirmation of course, and a relaxing lunch at the Bonno's. Funny story though, I was doing my usual, overly loud, "Oh I love fafaru," to the members (I do though, it's a challenge food, and a bonding moment; meant to be shared), and no lie our DMP and our two new converts all went out of their way to make us fafaru and gave it to us at church. Yeah, they didn't make it for us like in a meal, they made the fafaru, and gave us the jar to take home. Roylance and I agreed, we'd never seen nor heard anything like that ever in our entire missions. It was very bizarre.

BUT NOWHERE NEAR AS BIZARRE AS WHAT CAME NEXT.

So the only person getting transferred this time around is Roylance's son, Elder Sylvestre (he'll go out to Bora), but don't worry, Elder Roylance's companion won't be coming right away.

... or for three weeks.

In a stunning turn of events, my eldest son, Elder Heckmann, and his companion Elder Crandall, will be staying on their island of Rangiroa for a bit longer. They are closing Rangiroa (sad day), so Heckmann and Crandall wanted to stay for their last marriage and baptism. Which is all well and fine except for all 50 people it affects! Sovereign will be companion-less in Faa'a (Heckmann would've been going with him), Bradshaw will be companion-less in Orovini (Reese is going home today and Bradshaw's next companion was supposed to be Crandall), and so on until us on Moorea! Donadier (Roylance's next companion) has nothing to do with any of the people I just mentioned! That's how far the ripples of this thing go! I'm going to have a very stern talk with my son later today haha. The assistants literally told Roylance, "Figure out some splits." Un-freaking-believable. So if he doesn't get a mini-missionary or some awesome members figured out real quick, Jordan and I will have to split up the time between the two sectors. I'm currently taking our month's kilometers out back and shooting it in the head.

And on that reverent note, let me finish with my sacrament meeting nugget for the week:

"19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

 20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy."

-Mosiah 4:19-20

As tempting as it to think otherwise (as the logical mind would imply), all we have really does come from God. Our strengths, our likes and desires, our happiness, all things. It's something that's taken me some time to really understand, and I testify that our very joy (not happiness but the joy that one can have in trials and in all stages of life), can only come from the Lord.

Have a splendid week everyone.


-Elder Harrah









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