August 26, 2012

Hey Everyone!
I hope all is well! This is the last week of the transfer! I am not at all concerned about leaving, but I cannot believe I have been here for 5 weeks! I attached a few more photos of our typical views we see in our area. absolutely beautiful, the weather is begining to warm up and it really feels like paradise.
I am not sure if you can tell from the photos, but I am gaining a lot of weight here (which I am not too excited about). The Tongan people love feeding the missionaries. ALOT. Last night we were having dinner with a family and the placed before me two massive steaks. I struggled to finish them along with the other dishes and then when I thought I was done, I was given another steak bigger than the first two. I do not think I have ever eaten so much meat in one sitting, but this is quite typical of our dinner appointments. The polynesian people are really wonderful. They will give all they have and not accept anything in return. It is very common for them to almost force us to eat more because they believe the Lord will bless them for serving his missionaries. I know He does. I am in a wonderful ward, such faithful people.
I am learning to love the tongan people, learning a bit of their language, but I hope most to learn how to follow thier culture of selflessness, faith, and charity. I hope by the time I leave here I will be as giving and as selfless, I hope I will not have to think twice about serving or helping or lifting another, I hope it will become part of my nature as I see reflected in the lives of these people. I am honored by the faith and confidence they see in the missionaries, I feel that I have learned here how important my calling really is. I truly have been called to represent Jesus Christ and bring souls unto him. I feel much more accountable to and reverence this work because of these people. I will work more diligently to earn the respect they give us so freely.
We saw many more miracles this week! we began teaching a girl from austria, a guy from argentina, a guy from new zealand, and two girls from korea! I really think I have the coolest mission in the world. I will try and tally up the number of different nationalities I have taught on my mission, but I think I have seen just about everything. In The australia sydney mission I see that prophecy of joseph smith being fulfilled. “our missionaries are going forth to different nations, the standard of truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, armies may assemble, mobs may combine, and calumny may defame, but the truth of god will go forth boldly, nobly, and independant, until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of god shall be accomplished and the great jehovah shall say, the work is done” The Lord has sent me here, for now I am not visiting every nation or clime, but he has brought so many of the races, creeds, and tongues to me. This Gospel is being preached to the entire world. It is humbling to be among such great men of faith. I know that this work is true. Gods Purposes will be accomplished. I love this work. I love you all. please help the missionaries in your area. fast and pray for missionary opportunities. There is no greater work than the Lords Work. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. It is to this end and purpose that the world was created, this is the purpose of our mortal life. And I add my witness to Elder Neal A Maxwells testimony, that “if at the end of this life you have not chosen to follow christ, it will not matter what you have chosen”. There is not greater achievement in this life than recieving the gift of Eternal Life, which gift is the greatest of all the Gifts of God(D&C14:7). If we can fix this in our mind, our divine identity, our divine purpose, then we will have faith to forsake all sin, (alma 22:18) to follow the gospel, (Romans 1:16) and to become the sons and daughters of God (John 1:12)  and it will be natural and instinctive to share that message with all we know.
I love you all, thank you so much for everything, I hope to hear about how you are!
Elder Faulkner
More Pictures!
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