5 December 2016

         Malo e lelei!
Another good week full of meetings!

The pacific area president, president Haleck, came to Tonga and did zone conferences all throughout the mission. We talked a lot about our purpose, a lot about the doctrine of Christ and how to fix specific problems exclusive to our mission.

I learned about how important it is to emphasize the first principles of the gospel as we teach and prepare for baptism. Many missionaries find people who want to be baptized and them submit them for baptism without teaching them. Or others may teach the lessons quickly and move on to baptism. What I learned is that the most important thing that our investigators should do as a result of our teaching is not necessarily to be baptized, it is first to have faith, then repent. Then Baptism comes next. This is a thing that I've know for a while but never quite been able to put my finger on or put into words. This will help things out a lot.

Elder Haleck told us that it is easy to overemphasize baptism in missionary work, and he shared with us the possible results; people getting baptized without a testimony, children getting baptized without their parents, and people quickly becoming less active in the church. He said that emphasizing faith and repentance should be our focus. Those who have demonstrated faith by repentance should then be baptized!

This makes missionary work make more sense, and the tools the Lord's prepared for that process seem much more helpful now that I've started to look at it this way.

We have the master key for the zone, so we have to go to ha'ateiho and unlock the missionaries' apartment there. I will email you later if I can!

I love you all and thanks for all the support!!

'Ofa lahi atu!
Elder Brown

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