Rapanui cave climbing and missionary work is going great!

Hola todos!

Well, this week was awesome! This morning my companion and I went cave climbing on the west side of the island. We went to
caves that the ancient rapa nui used to live in. They were so cool!
This week was also a great week for missionary work! We taught so many
lessons this week. We taught more this week than I have any other week
on the island. We are also finding a lot of people and meeting new
investigators. 

We had one lesson specifically with one of our investigators
named Alberto. He is progressing the best out of any of our
investigators. He is about 70 years old and he is well known and a
well respected rapa nui man. He has lived on the island pretty much
his whole life. He has been fun to teach because he is just super
funny. He has trouble with the Word of Wisdom and if he decides to be baptized, then a lot of people will be against it. But last night
we had an awesome lesson with him. We talked about faith as a seed in Alma 32
and we asked him how his experience has been with the church. He
explained that he feels good and knows that it is good. He also said
he has felt his faith in God grow and he wants to know if it is really
all true. The spirit was so strong and he spoke about his doubts. Then
my companion read some powerful scriptures and it came to a point where we
just sat in silence for I think almost a full minute. He was just
thinking and thinking and I believe that the spirit was just pounding
in him. Then we marked a part in the Book of Mormon for him to read
and left him. We are praying that he keeps on progressing and that he
decides to keep going. He would be a huge help for the church here
because he and his family are very well known here on the island. His
cousin is the mayor of the island too. So we are working with him and
with a few other investigators. 

We had a funny experience this week. We went up to knock on a door and the person opened the door and started talking to us. Then it started pouring rain as we talked with the person. Then at the end of the contact, the rain stopped and we went
back out to get our bikes. They were drenched. It was funny that
there was a full on storm in about 5 minutes. Then it stopped and
was sunny again. I am doing great and having a blast!

Elder Neser

EEL FOR DINNER ANYONE?????

Hola!!! 

Things are going great here on Easter Island! I had a great week this week. The first highlight is that on Tuesday I called my Mission President and asked him if I could stay longer on the island (because I was supposed to go back to Santiago next week). I gave him a bunch of reasons. He said he would think about it. Then a few days later he called me and said he thought about it a lot and thinks it is a really good idea that I stay here! I was so excited! So I will be staying here on the island until at least September and most likely until October. I am so excited to be able to stay here longer! 

My companion and I have been finding a lot more people and we have been teaching a lot. Yesterday in church we experienced some miracles. A lady came to church that we have been working with for a long time. She is Rapa Nui and her religious background is a mix of Catholicism and Rapa Nui religion. There is a lot of opposition from her family about talking with us and learning about the Mormon Church. She is about 70 years old and she has come to the point where she says that she needs to make her own decisions and it doesn’t matter what her family says. She is so awesome. So she came to church yesterday for the first time which was amazing! She really liked it. From my time here on the island, I have really come to realize that most of the Rapa Nui here are people without a strong Christian background. They believe in a mix of their old Rapa Nui religion and Catholicism. But they don’t really understand the Catholic Church and its teachings.  They just attend Catholic Mass because of tradition. And these traditions are very strong on the island. So it is interesting teaching because we have to take things really slowly and teach the basics. It is a big change from Chile. I like it though. 

We also have this other investigator in the same situation and he has been coming to church too. What has happened is that our investigators go to the first part of the Catholic Mass at 9:00 am. and then they leave to get to our church and 10:00 am. and then they stay at our church. It is funny because yesterday there was a group of three people that did that. 

Another highlight from this week is that last night we gave a lesson to one of our investigators named Alberto. He is Rapa Nui. He loves fish and fishing. So yesterday he went with his friend to go snorkel harpoon fishing. They caught some fish and eel! So they brought it back and cooked it up. They didn’t eat it all so Alberto gave the rest to us. We got to eat fish and eel soup, too! Eel was actually pretty good. It was just weird seeing this big long snake thing floating in the soup and not knowing if it was going to jump out and bite you or not. He also gave us some extra fish that we are going to cook today for lunch. I hit my 11 months in the mission mark today! How crazy is that! Time flies so fast. Those are some of the highlights from my week! I am doing great and the work is going great! 

Elder Neser

Happy Birthday Elder Neser!

Hola Lorana Korua!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone for wishing me “happy birthday!” I had a great birthday yesterday and really enjoyed it. I had the best birthday party/Family Home Evening ever! The branch planned a birthday party for me that my companion and I kind of new about but it was supposed to be a surprise so we didn’t know all of the details. We thought we were just going to have Family Home Evening and then eat cake afterwards and that would be it. We were wrong. We arrived at the church in the evening and we walked in and the lights were off. Then the lights turned on and everyone said “Feliz Cumpleaños!” The crazy thing was that there were 30 to 40 people there! There is only about 8 active members so we were wondering who all of the other people were . . .   

On Sunday, two girls who were tourists attended church. One was a member and the other was her friend. They were from Chile. We talked to them and got to know them. They were here to be part of a dance celebration. So then we told them about the Family Home Evening that we were going to have the next day. They said that they would try to come. It turns out that the girl who is a member got her whole dance group to come with her to the Family Home Evening/birthday party! It was insane! So they were all there and they sang me happy birthday and they performed some Chilean and Rapa Nui dances. It was so awesome. Then they served cake and a lot of food. The party was awesome and in the end we shared a message about the gospel with them because much of the group there was not Mormon. So it was a great missionary activity. They all liked it. The members gave me presents and made me a lei to wear around my neck. It was probably one of the best birthdays ever. The cool part though was the amazing testimony and example of the one Mormon girl in this dance group. She first brought her friend to church then got her whole dance group to come to Family Home Evening. It is amazing because even though this member was on a vacation on Easter Island she decided to be a member missionary and bring her friends to church. She was a great example.

The rest of the week was great. We are finding a lot of people and have some investigators progressing towards baptism. We are having a blast here and working so hard. The time has flown. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission in such an amazing place in the world. That’s all for this week! 

Elder Neser