What is the hardest samoan word to pronounce?
Tagoiaega is probably the hardest samoan word I've come across thus far. That is Lisa's last name, the 14 year old girl, who got baptized last week! Her name breaks so many rules! Aren't you not suppose to have more than two vowels in a row? This one has 4! Once you learn how to pronounce the letters though, the language is not too bad, even with difficult names like this. The only thing that's hard is memorization, trying to remember what words mean and what word to use in certain situations. I still feel quite useless in the Samoan language. I've gotten pretty slack about my language studies the past month or so too which is probably why I feel like my Samoan is useless. That's something I want to work on next week, more focused language study.
What do you like most about being a missionary?
Definitely the amount of spiritual impressions I get on a daily basis. As I go out and teach more and more, I feel I am getting better at noticing and following the promptings from the spirit as they come. Sometimes the results of following those impressions are incredible for those we teach, aand sometimes it seems like only I benefitted from following the prompting, but regardless, simply having those spiritual experiences are incredible gifts and testimony strengtheners for me. Another thing is not having to worry about anything other than those I serve, that's also a very nice touch. I was thinking about this the other day. All I do all day is think, worry and pray for those around me. My happiness, my sadness, my frustration, and my joy all come from my desire to serve others and seeing others accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.
When was your greatest joy on your mission so far?
It has been serving in the Liverpool 2nd ward. There isn't one event or one person that has caused this joy. Just serving in an area where so many people have been prepared by the Lord to hear the gospel and who are willing to make changes and commitments in their lives is what makes me so joyful. Last week I was able to witness Lisa Tagoiaega get baptized and see her parents watch with tears in their eyes as they watch their daughter show faith in our Savior and Redeemer by being baptized. This weekend I was able to see two primary children get baptized who are part of a less active/returning family with similar reactions. Next weekend I get to see Ben Tauiliili make the same covenant and hopefully the rest of his family soon to follow in the next few months. My joy comes not of my own actions, but it comes from seeing the righteous actions of others as they choose to accept the gospel.