Date

March 20, 2017

Area

Cook Islands

Companion

Elder Cowl

77 Chapters

Kia Orana my wonderful friends and family! How was everyone's week? Mine was better than last week, which is really all you can ask for.

The week started with trade-offs so I got to go to the other side of the island and grind with Elder Tongi, which was good. It's crazy that the entire island is 20 miles around and I still haven't seen a decent portion of it. We were able to teach one of their investigators about the Book of Mormon and it was an awesome lesson. I love the Book of Mormon, it's so powerful.

Wednesday we exchanged back and I returned to Arorangi. We had a lesson with Ngariki in the afternoon that went awesome. He's the one that loves reading the Book of Mormon. When we met with him last week he was on Alma chapter 36. This week he was on Ether 6, and only had a few pages left in the entire book. I did the math and he read 77 chapters of the Book of Mormon in one week. I was honestly shocked, that's definitely more than I've ever read in a week. He said he couldnt fall asleep without reading as much as he could so every night he just reads non stop until he falls asleep. He talked about how he knows everything in the book is true and comes from God and how amazing the book is. I decided to invite him to be baptized again, and again he told us he isn't ready. I've never had this kind of situation before because he's just as ready as anyone I've ever seen. We can't get him to come to church, but he knows the Book of Mormon is true and has a very strong testimony of it. We just have to be patient and take it at his pace I guess.

Thursday we had something really funny happen. We have been visiting with this 50 year old guy named Rua for the past few weeks because he's decided he wants to start coming back to church. He was baptized as a kid and hasn't really been to church in almost 40 years. he doesn't have much Gospel knowledge so we pretty much treat him like a nonmember and teach him the lessons. In our last visit we were talking about Jesus Christ and he stopped us and said " guys, I saw a show about Atonement last night, it was really good". We asked him what the show was called and he (completely serious, with a straight face) said " Game of Thrones". We both started cracking up and he explained this episode of GoT and we had to explain to him what The Atonement actually is because his understanding was very warped hahaha. It brightened our week a little bit because we had been having a really boring week up until that point.

Friday was a really good day. Every Friday we go to the elementary school and teach a Bible Class to the 1st and 2nd graders. Friday morning we walked outside and it was sprinkling so we started biking to the school, hoping to get there before the storm hit. 30 seconds later, probably the hardest rain I have ever seen in my life rained down on us. It felt like God was literally just dropping buckets on us, we couldnt even see 10 feet in front of us on our bikes. We were completely drenched 20 minutes later when we made it to the school and had to teach the class dripping. It was still really fun though and the kids kept hugging us because they wanted to get wet for some reason.

This past weekend a miracle happened. One of the young men in our branch has a friend that just moved here from New Zealand that has been interested in the church because we've actually gone over to her house a couple of times and taught her brother. She's a 17 year old girl named Tearangi. The senior couple, Elder and Sister Kemp, had a baptism on Saturday and Tearangi actually came because she wanted to check it out. She loved the baptism and we got to talk to her and teach her for about an hour afterwards. She came to church yesterday and stayed all 3 hours and loved it. We have an appointment with her on Friday to teach her more and she's so excited. She's so awesome and I really hope we can help her progress towards baptism. We met her Saturday and by Sunday afternoon she said she already felt like a member of our church, which was awesome. It's truly been a miracle and I hope everything continues to go well.

I want to end with a scripture from the Book of Mormon, and actually from my favorite chapter in the book. 2 Nephi chapter 4 verses 34-35:

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

I love the faith of the prophet Nephi in these verses. I definitely know the importance of putting our trust in God. I know that it's hard sometimes, but it's so important to realize that he has a plan for each of us and knows our potential. God wants to help us and wants to give us the things we want, but he knows us so much better than we know ourselves and he knows what we need. i'm so grateful for that knowledge and for my Father in Heaven.

I love all of you, thank you so much for everything you do. Continue in the faith and have an amazing week!
-Love, Elder Plowman

Pictures will be in a separate email :)




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