September 1, 2019


Provo Missionary Training Center; Provo, Utah


Elder Lemusu

Concerning Missionaries (and to a Lesser Extent, Choir)

Talofa Lava la'u uo ma aiga!
Well, I suppose it is time for round two. This week has possibly been the longest week of my my relatively short existence. I believe that a short highlight reel is in order to effectively present my week.

1) Tuesday Devotional
The first highlight is pretty cool because the Presiding Bishop, Gerald Causse, came to speak at the Tuesday night devotional. I have always liked listening to his talks at General Conference, but this last Tuesday blew everything out of the water. He talked about being BOLD as people, and BOLD as missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He spoke about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not only for repentance, but can be used whenever we want to become a little bit better. He said that as missionaries we can use the Atonement to become holier and higher to become true disciples of Christ. He also said that the apostle Paul was the greatest missionary ever and even he struggled with the languages he learned. As he talked about being BOLD, he said, "Now I'm going to do something bold. I don't usually do this, but I'm going to play the piano for you." He then sat down and played a 10 minute arrangement of "Come, Come, Ye Saints" by himself instead of doing the rest of his talk. It was amazing. His talk and his music really touched me. I was also on the big screen for the devotional for the choir, but that's pretty lame comparatively to Bishop Causse's presence.

2) Missionary Choir
I gave in and joined the missionary choir. It was... something else. I prefer singing with a smaller group personally, so singing with 500 was like I was with the Nevada All-State Choir- only nobody can read music and they think that singing louder makes it better. I am happy to say that these were my first impressions and they were not my last. It did not sound like it did at practice during the actual devotional. It was much better. Definitely some help from above. The conductor is a super cool guy, but I also don't remember his name. Oh wait, it's Brother Eggett. And Sister La Tangelo played the organ. The conductor tells lots of stories and tries to get the choir to actually feel about the music. We sang "Ye Elders of Israel" , so the primary emotion was 'very loud'. I also have made a list of pros and cons as to whether I would do choir again. I believe I will be.

3) Language
Samoan continues to be a difficult language to learn. There are never two consonants together according to my instructors. Luckily I am making progress. I can now pray, bear a short testimony, meet someone (sort of), and make equative sentences. That is basically a sentence that has the verbs are or is. We haven't really learned anything grammar wise, so I can't really make sentences that you would use everyday yet. My Samoan name is Elder Piniki. Peneki is Bennett, but pink is piniki so everyone thinks it's pretty funny.

Alright, the highlight reel is over. Now onto some questions I have received from some friends and family.

There are ten missionaries in my district. We are all Samoan speaking all heading to Samoa. There are nine more in our zone, but some are going to Australia and New Zealand in that district.

Next of all, the food here is terrible. Just about everything will make you ill. Luckily I have found solace in the salad bar, but before I was enlightened I ate chicken and waffles. This has proven to be the most foolish thing I have ever done. Chicken and waffles at the MTC are disgusting. End of story. There are no words in the English lexicon for whatever that devil spawn was pretending to be food. On the other hand, the sweet pork salad did not make me want to "go home and rethink my life" as Obi-Wan once said.

Something I wish I did to prepare is to actually read the bible again (besides in Seminary) before I went out. It occurred to me this last week that I really couldn't name more than six of the original twelve apostles and I just felt pathetic. I read the Book of Mormon several times before I left, but now it doesn't feel like enough. Luckily I can now name all of the original twelve and am starting to rectify this error. Just to prove it:
Peter, James, John, Luke, Judas, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Andrew, Phillip, Thomas, Jude, Simon, and Matthew. I think. Please correct me if wrong.

We have three, soon to be four, instructors for Samoan. They are all super awesome and helpful and they push us to be better all the time.

Other news is not quite as fun though. My companion just got word that his brother was in the hospital yesterday. The other rugby team apparently decided to jump him on his way home and they stabbed him. Elder Lemusu was taking it pretty hard, and felt like he should have been there to help him. Today though he is doing better- both of them.

I guess I'll end this with a scripture and a short testimony. James 4, verse 12: There is but one lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy, who art thou that judgest another?

O te molimau atu o Iesu Keriso ol le Alo o le Atua
O te iloa o Ioesefa Samita o se perofeta
O te molimau atu o le Atua o lo tatou Tama Faalelagi
I le suafa o Iesu Keriso, Amene

Tofa Soifua,
Elder Bennett


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